Triple talaq law helping women: PM in Mann ki Baat

Women in the country are “reaching new heights”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday as he hailed his government’s women-centric decisions, including a law against the practice of triple talaq.

In the 86th edition of his monthly radio broadcast, Mann ki Baat, the PM also called on the people to promote the government’s Vocal for Local campaign.

“Today, in our country, from Parliament to panchayat, women are reaching new heights in different fields. In the army, daughters are now playing responsibilities in new and bigger roles… The country has lifted the restrictions on the admission of daughters in Sainik schools,” the PM said. “Look at the start-up world. In recent years, thousands of new start-ups began in the country. About half of these start-ups have women as director,” he said.

The country is trying to give equal rights to men and women, the PM said as he listed the decisions taken by the Centre. “In the recent past, decisions like increasing maternity leave for women have been taken… fixing a common age for marriage. Due to this, the participation of women is increasing in every field,” he said.

The country has seen an 80% reduction in cases related to the practice of triple talaq, Modi said. The Parliament in 2019 enacted a law making the Muslim practice of triple talaq a criminal offence.

The PM also credited the improvement in the country’s sex ratio to the government’s flagship Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. The fifth round of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), released by the health ministry on November 24 last year, found that India now has 1,020 women for every 1,000 men. This is the first time, in any NFHS or Census, that the sex ratio is skewed in favour of women.

Talking about the upcoming festivals of Shivratri and Holi, the PM urged the people to support the Vocal for Local drive. “You should buy local products on festivals so lives of the people around you also become colourful and vibrant. The success with which our country is fighting the battle against Corona is imparting enthusiasm to the festival manifold..we have to celebrate our festivals, and at the same time, we have to maintain our caution,” the PM said.

During his 32-minute-long address, the PM also lauded the country’s scientific community for its role during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Due to their hard work, it was possible to manufacture the Made-in-India vaccines. This is the gift of science to humanity,” he said.

The Prime Minister also talked about redefining “Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat (One India, Great India )” to popularise local languages and urged people to share videos of lip-syncing in local Indian languages as he cited the example of Tanzania’s Kili Paul and his sister Nima.

The duo, which lip syncs to Indian songs, has a huge following on social media. “These days, two Tanzanian siblings, Kili Paul and his sister Nima, are in the news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They have a passion, a craze for Indian music. A video of him singing our National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana, on Republic Day went viral. A few days ago, they also paid a soulful tribute to Lata didi… I urge the youth of the country to make videos of the popular songs of Indian languages… and the diversity of the country will be introduced to the new generation,” he said.

Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar died at 92 due to post-Covid complications on February 6.

The PM also highlighted the issue of smuggling of Indian artefacts. “Till 2013, nearly 13 idols had been brought back to India. But, in the last seven years, India has brought back more than 200 precious idols,” he said.

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